What can we learn from these Wise Guys?

Blessings to you on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord!

This is a great Solemnity that is celebrated on different dates and on which we celebrate different but interconnected manifestations of the Lord to His people!

The Antiphon for the Benedictus during Lauds or Morning Prayer states:

Today the bridegroom claims his bride, the Church, since Christ washed her sins away in Jordan’s waters; the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding; and the wedding guests rejoice, for Christ changed water into wine, alleluia.

The Antiphon for the Magnificat during Second Vespers or Evening Prayer II adds:

Three mysteries mark this holy day: today the star leads the Magi to the infant Christ; today water is changed into wine for the wedding feast; today Christ wills to be baptized by John in the river Jordan to bring salvation.

We will actually celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord next Sunday and conclude the Christmas Season and enter into Ordinary Time.

So on January 6 (or on the Sunday between January 2 and 8 in the United States) in most parts of the world (including Vatican City, Italy and other European countries, as well as throughout Latin America where in some countries it is a national holiday) we celebrate the great and glorious feast of the manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (to people who are not of Jewish origin) in the persons of the Three Kings or The Magi or the Three Wise Men. (Some Eastern Rite churches celebrate Christmas on this day.)

The Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

And behold the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.

They prostrated themselves and did him homage.

Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:1-12

What can we learn from these Star-Gazers?

The Three Kings or The Magi or the Three Wise Men exemplify several important virtues with their journey from one or more foreign lands, as they followed the star all the way to Bethlehem until they found the Child Jesus with His Mother, Mary. 

Here are ten great virtues we all need which they model for us:

  1. Wisdom
  2. Attentiveness
  3. Docility
  4. Obedience
  5. Perseverance
  6. Endurance
  7. Humility
  8. Adoration
  9. Generosity
  10. Child-likeness

 

I love this feast precisely for the virtues they exemplify.

I also love this feast for the immense love and mercy God shows us in this great manifestation. I am a Gentile – and so are most of you. God revealed Himself at His birth to both Jews and Gentiles – to the shepherds, the Three Kings, to Simeon and Anna – as the God of the universe who wishes that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4), and later, as He began His public ministry, to John the Baptist and all who had come forward like Jesus to be baptized, as well as to the bride and groom and guests at the wedding at Cana, where He performed His first “sign” or miracle: changing water into wine –  just like He changes wine into His Precious Blood today.

We too are called to follow the signs that lead us to find Jesus with His Mother, Mary. 

As we close the Christmas Season, let us make sure we know what signs to follow and how to reach our God-desired destination.

Happy Epiphany of Our Lord!

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